As a Tarrant County personal injury lawyer I know that some of the most devastating auto accidents are those which involve 18-wheelers. Due to the sheer size and weight of commercial trucks, if they are involved in a traffic collision the damage to property and the injuries suffered by those involved are going to be very serious indeed. Nationwide, 4,000 people are killed and 100,000 more are injured in big rig crashes each year.
One of the biggest problems facing the trucking industry is driver fatigue. There are government rules in places for the purpose of limiting the number of sequential hours a truck driver can be behind the wheel, but many operators keep two separate logs – one real, one fake – so that they can continue to work long hours and cover vast differences, whilst still appearing as though they are operating within the law. While some truckers may be motivated simply by the additional profit of working extra hours, it seems most feel they are given no choice by an industry which places profit before people and pressures drivers to meet unreasonable delivery deadlines.
The Truck Safety Coalition, in association with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union, met in Washington to push for greater safety laws for tractor trailer drivers. Many public citizens who had lost loved ones in truck wrecks were also present to tell lawmakers their deceased loved ones' stories. Among them were Ron Wood, whose mother, sister and three nephews were killed in a Sherman, TX accident caused by a sleepy trucker. Fort Worth Police Officer Robert Mills was also present to call for a switch from paper truck logs to computerized logs which he believed could dramatically cut down on truck companies pressurizing drivers to break the law. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently in the final stage of implementing electronic on-board recorders and also limiting the amount of time a truck driver can work to 10 consecutive hours in a single shift.
As an Arlington car wreck and wrongful death attorney, I welcome any new initiatives which both enforce laws already in place and also make both truck drivers and other motorists safer on Texas roads. If you or a loved one have been injured in a traffic accident which was not your fault, call now for a no fee, no obligation consultation on your case. Call toll free at 800-354-MARK (6275) or locally at either Ft. Worth 817-294-190 or Dallas 214-327-8000.